How to Watch Soccer Live Streams

Where to stream UEFA, FIFA, Premier League, MLS, and more

Action shot of a soccer game with Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur.

Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Soccer is massively popular in both the United States and the rest of the world, so the soccer live streaming landscape is incredibly complex. It's certainly possible, however, to stream a soccer match you want to watch.

The broadcast rights for Major League Soccer, the Premier League, the English Football League, La Liga, Ligue 1, FIFA, and the dozens of other national and international soccer leagues and tournaments are spread across a huge variety of different broadcasters.

If you want to watch soccer live streams, and you want the best coverage available, here's who has the rights to broadcast what games, which broadcasters you need to have access to, and the best ways to get that access.

Where Is The Best Place To Stream Soccer?

Soccer, or association football, is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are both major and minor leagues in the United States, but there are also leagues in a number of other countries, and fiercely competitive international leagues, competitions, and tournaments.

Due to the massive worldwide popularity of soccer, the live streaming picture for this sport is tremendously complex. Dozens of broadcasters own at least some soccer rights around the world. The four broadcasters that own the most English-language soccer rights in the United States are:

  • ESPN: This broadcaster has the rights to the most soccer games in the United States. Some games are broadcast on the internet-only ESPN+ streaming service. Contracts include Major League Soccer, the US Open Cup, USL Championship, National Women's Soccer League, the College Cup, English Football League, Premier League, FIFA qualification rounds, UEFA, and more.
  • beIN Sports: This network also has the rights to a lot of important soccer broadcasting contracts, including La Liga, Copa del Rey, Ligue 1, Coupe de France, FIFA World Cup qualifications, Copa Libertadores, Africa Cup of Nations, CAF Championship League, and more.
  • FOX Sports: FOX has the rights to some important games, including the FIFA World Cup finals. Other rights include FIFA Women's World Cup finals, CONCACAF Golf Cup, Major League Soccer, Liga MX, Bundesliga, and more.
  • NBC Sports: NBC owns the broadcast rights for the Premier League.
  • DAZN USA: This network owns the rights for the AFC Asian Cup, AFC Championship League.

ESPN is the clear winner in terms of the number of leagues and tournaments they own the rights to, with beIN Sports coming in second.

FOX Sports also owns the rights to a lot of important games, including the entirety of the FIFA World Cup finals.

Other networks, like NBC Sports and DAZN USA, have the rights to some games, but they don't quite compare.

Live Streaming Soccer on ESPN and ESPN+

If you just want to watch some soccer live streams, and you don't need access to everything, ESPN gives you access to more games than most other broadcasters. ESPN carries Major League Soccer games in the United States as well as a lot of international competitions.

Cable subscribers can watch soccer live streams on the WatchESPN website without paying anything above and beyond their regular bill. Cord cutters can gain access to ESPN through a number of streaming services.

ESPN+ is a separate service. It's accessed through WatchESPN, but you don't automatically get access with your cable subscription.

Here's how to live stream soccer through WatchESPN:

  1. Navigate to WatchESPN.com.

  2. Locate a soccer game, and click the play button.

    A screenshot of WatchESPN.
  3. Click your television provider.

    A screenshot of the ESPN provider selection screen.
  4. Enter your cable or satellite provider email and password, and click Log In.

    A screenshot of a WatchESPN cable provider login.
  5. If your video doesn't start playing automatically, return to WatchESPN and click the play button again.

  6. If the game you want to watch is an ESPN+ game, it will say ESPN+ at the bottom of the card and E+ in the upper left. To watch one of these games, get started by clicking the play button.

    A screenshot of an ESPN+ soccer game.

    ESPN+ is a separate service from ESPN. You don't need cable to sign up for ESPN+, and having cable doesn't provide you with access to ESPN+.

  7. Click START MY 7 DAY FREE TRIAL, and follow the on-screen prompts.

    A screenshot of ESPN+.

    You will have to provide credit card information, but you won't be charged if you cancel your subscription within seven days.

  8. Return to WatchESPN, locate the ESPN+ soccer game you want to watch, and click the play button again.

Live Streaming Soccer on beIN Sports

The next best option for watching soccer live streams is beIN Sports, which also has a website where cable subscribers can watch for free. If you're a cord cutter, you can get access to beIN Sports through Sling TV or fuboTV and then watch through the beIN Sports website.

Here's how to watch soccer live streams from beIN Sports:

  1. Click Login.

    A screenshot of beIN Sports.
  2. Select your cable or satellite provider.

    A screenshot of the beIN Sports cable provider selection site.
  3. Enter your cable or satellite provider email and password, and click Log In.

    A screenshot of a beIN sports cable login screen.

    The exact process for this step differs depending on your provider. You may have to click Sign In, Continue, or something else along those lines. If your internet and cable providers are the same company, this process may be automated.

  4. Return to the beIN Sports website, and select a game to watch.

Television Streaming Services that Include Soccer

If you don't have a cable or satellite subscription, you can live stream soccer through a television streaming service. These services act a lot like cable or satellite television, but you stream live channels over a high speed internet connection. You can watch on your computer or laptop, phone, tablet, or even on your television with a streaming device like a Roku.

Since these services provide access to the same channels as cable providers, you need to look for one that carries a lot of networks that have rights to broadcast soccer.

Here are the two best options for soccer live streams:

  • Sling TV: This streaming service includes beIN Sports if you choose the Sling Blue plan with the Sports Extra package. You'll also get ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU. Fox and NBC are only available in limited markets, but this is still one of the best options for soccer.
  • fuboTV: This streaming service includes beIN Sports, but it doesn't have any ESPN channels, so you'll miss MLS games. It's still a good choice for soccer, especially international association football, but you'll miss a lot of games.

The other streaming services don't include beIN Sports, but most of them do have ESPN, Fox Sports and NBC Sports, so you can still get decent coverage from them if you're primarily interested in Major League Soccer, the Premier League, and the FIFA World Cup Finals.

Who Owns National Soccer Broadcast Rights in the United States?

Major League Soccer is the national league in the United States, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Countries all around the world have their own national leagues, and a lot of them have signed deals with broadcasters in the United States.

If you want access to stream the most soccer from around the world, here's a guide to the most common national leagues and cups and where to watch them:

  Broadcaster Stream
Major League Soccer ESPN, ESPN2 WatchESPN
US Open Cup ESPN, ESPN+ WatchESPN, ESPN+
USL Championship ESPN+, ESPN3 WatchESPN, ESPN+
National Women's Soccer League Yahoo Sports Yahoo
College Cup ESPNU WatchESPN
Liga MX (Mexico) FS1, FS2 FOX Sports GO
Premier League (England) NBC Sports NBC Sports
English Football League (England) ESPN+ ESPN+
FA Cup (England) ESPN+ ESPN+
La Liga (Spain) beIN Sports fuboTV, Sling tV
Copa del Rey (Spain) ESPN, beIN Sports WatchESPN, fuboTV, Sling TV
Serie A (Italy) ESPN, ESPN+ WatchESPN, ESPN+
Bundesliga (Germany) ESPN WatchESPN
Ligue 1 (France) beiIN Sports fuboTV, Sling TV

Who Owns International Soccer Broadcast Rights?

International soccer broadcasting rights are also complicated. Even a single organization, like FIFA, can have its rights split out between several different broadcasters. There's a whole lot of soccer to watch throughout the year, but only if you have access to the right streams.

Here are some of the most popular and important international associations and tournaments, and where to watch them:

  Broadcaster Live Stream
FIFA World Cup Finals FOX, FS1 FOX Sports GO
FIFA World Cup Qualification ESPN, beIN Sports WatchESPN, ESPN+
UEFA ESPN, TNT, B/R Live WatchESPN, ESPN+, 
CONMEBOL beIN Sports fuboTV, Sling TV
CONCACAF FOX, FS1, FS2 FOX Sports GO
AFC DAZN DAZN USA
Africa Cup of Nations beIN Sports fuboTV, Sling TV
CAF beIN Sports fuboTV, Sling TV

How to Watch Free Soccer Live Streams

If you're trying to watch a specific soccer game, and you're having trouble tracking down a legitimate source, Ace Stream is an alternative that you may want to check out. Ace Stream is a media player that allows you to watch unofficial streams that are provided by other fans.

To stream soccer games through Ace Stream, you need to download and install the Ace Stream player. We have a guide to streaming sports online with Ace Stream if you don't already have it installed.

With Ace Stream installed, you gain the ability to load Ace Stream content IDs. These content IDs essentially point your Ace Stream player to an unofficial stream, so you need to find a new ID for every game you want to watch.

The easiest way to find content IDs is to look at online forums like Reddit. For example, the soccer streams subreddit often features content IDs and other streams that don't require any additional software.

If you can't find a content ID there, the next best option is to use your favorite search engine. For instance, to find a stream of a match between the Colorado Rapids and the Seattle Sounders from Major League Soccer, you would search for:

Colorado Rapids vs Seattle Sounders content ID

Ace Stream content IDs are free. Do not pay anyone for a content ID, and be careful when visiting sites that offer content IDs. Don't click on any suspicious links or ads, and consider installing a good ad blocker.

Free Online Sports Websites to Stream Soccer

If you've tried all the other streaming options, and nothing works, the last option is to look at websites that aggregate links to unofficial soccer streams. These sites are typically full of intrusive ads, and the video quality can vary from great to abysmal, but it's an option that's worth considering if nothing else works.

Here are some sites that usually host soccer live streams from around the world:

  • Stream2Watch
  • FromHot
  • Bosscast
  • Cricfree

For more information about these websites, check out our full guide to streaming free sports online.

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